Fall Comedy Open Mic: The Chicken and the Cock

Last Saturday night on October 24, Joe Boninger ‘16 hosted the Fall Comedy Open Mic, where sixteen performers of various experience levels gave their best shot at stand-up comedy in the limelight. The audience came to the show looking forward to a good laugh and an evening kick-back, and I think it’s safe to say that nobody left disappointed.

The performers were polished, well-rehearsed, and knew spot-on what to feed the audience. Not once did they strike us with awkward silences or uncomfortable hesitations. Once the lights dimmed, the steady stream of wit hardly left the stage. What ultimately tipped the show off the scale was a collection of inside parodies that only a Swattie could understand.

One senior ranted about Swarthmore’s budgeting priorities. She challenged the audience to guess how much the Phineas the Phoenix costume cost. We estimated four thousand dollars, six thousand max—nope, it turns out that the actual figure takes an even heavier stab to the heart. Phineas actually cost us a grand total of $20,000. Yes, that stupid bird suit really cost twenty thousand dollars.

The worst part is that Phineas’s entire entity looks like it’s an utter joke. He walks around flaunting his blazing red feathers, proudly sporting a goofy smile and a cross-eyed gaze. “The phoenix doesn’t even look cool,” the senior spluttered. “It’s a default pretty badass creature. How do you fuck up a phoenix?” We have yet to fix the broken milk machine in Sharples—but we sure do have one hella expensive “chicken costume” ready in the closet.

Another senior poked fun at the tide of emails delivered to our inboxes every morning. He introduced himself as the “new assistant dean of student deans” and welcomed us to seek his comfort during our deepest times of need. He insisted that he will fulfill this role reliably, and that he will always be here to listen. At this point, we thought he was done impersonating staff duties—until he cracked the joke that may have just been the punchline that won the show.

“Put down your pencils, stop your bitching, get off your lazy asses, and join me for Toffee Cock,” he playfully demanded. The audience burst into cheers because we knew exactly what he was referring to. For all of those invitations to Coffee Talk that we fish through, for all of the yaks about SwatMail, someone finally managed to crack an upbeat joke about just how much email we receive.

The performance went on. Boninger made a spiel about dating and the senior job hunt. Michaela Shuchman ‘16 shared about the time she signed up for a couples massage with her father. Anthony Joe Mariani ‘19 explained the mechanics behind awkward eye contact. Lee Kucic ‘16 advertised the importance of self-acceptance. Simon Bloch ‘17 expressed his hatred towards ice cubes.

Reflecting on the show, Bloch said that it was a fun experience. “People who had never tried stand-up before did really brilliant, hilarious material,” he said. “I hope more people try it themselves.”


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